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Excelsiors and "Pietro's System"

nagant27

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I have a few questions about some older excelsiors, the really older ones that say special model, all in fancy rhinestones. Here is a picture of one:


Ive seen on a few of them on the master palm switch it says Pietros system. Im assuming its after pietro diero?, maybe pietro frosini, but Im assuming deiro since he played a piano accordion. But maybe a palm switch could have been on frosinis accordion too, I dont know. Anyway what is the system? What is it referring to here? Were these the first palm registers? Also sometimes there are two shifts on these, Im not sure what the other one is called?



Just curious! Thanks again.
 

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JIM D.

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Yes;
It was Pietro Diero that wanted a switch that opened ("ALL") of the reed blocks with the a movement of the palm without removing the hand from the keyboard while performing.
Excelsior build one for him, and with his success in performing with it, Excelsior patented it in the mid 20's (the first) as a "Master Switch".
The model you show here has switches but only changed reed sets that needed a thumb press. Later models had switches on the grill for reed sets, but with the "Master" for the palm the fingers remain on the keyboard..
 

nagant27

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Thanks Jim. I knew you would know!

Any idea what the 2 "guage" like arrows are signifying with "R" and the graduations? One is probably a master, all reed blocks? Whats the "R"? Reeds?
 

JIM D.

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These were much like needles or arrows on a gas gauge for the time.
By the the pressure on the switch you could watch the needle and regulate the
air to a set ot reed blocks. The result would change the tremolo effect as the
reduced air pressure would detune reeds in a block.
 
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Geronimo

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JIM D. post_id=54531 time=1516325893 user_id=63 said:
These were much like needles or arrows on a gas gauge for the time.
By the the pressure on the switch you could watch the needle and regulate the
air to a set ot reed blocks. The result would change the tremolo effect as the
reduced air pressure would detune reeds in a block.
There is nothing new under the sun... My main instrument in LMMM tuning has separate controlling levers for L, M, and M+ and M- combined. The M reed sets are controlled with sliders which can be left partially open, the L reed set with couplers (so its basically on or off with nothing in between). The best setting for baroque music involves throttling the tremolo lever until the tremolo beatings approximate the typical equal temperament tuning beatings. I discovered this only recently: previously I had been wondering why an instrument delivered in 1960 would show characteristics more typical for the 40s (4 rows of buttons, for example). I mean, at that time the combination registers of a Morino Artiste VID or IVD or even XD were already firmly established.

I presume that the builders aimed to make this instrument more palatable to the intended recipient who probably valued a few things in his current instrument. The basic things to value about individually controlled register sliders is silent action, the possibility of gradual action (good for registering into already played notes) and intermediate positions.

Tempering the tremolo works well enough that I consider it likely to be part of the reason for picking these controls for this instrument.

Its certainly instructive to hear that the throttling of reeds in order to tamper with tremolo was well-known enough that instruments were built with a more formal and likely dependable way of doing it.
 
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Geronimo

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JIM D. post_id=54539 time=1516368786 user_id=63 said:
The most famous accordion model that used sliders (often called rockers) was this --
http://www.accordiongallery.com/Excelsior-OO-USA
Oh, the sliders are whats running in the reed blocks or the filling. I wouldnt call the controls sliders. My main Morino has thumb levers under the button keyboard. I have an Excelsior that actually has 4 rockers to the upper left of the treble grille where I dont feel that they are all that convenient.

To wit: controlled placement of in-between positions is not really what they feel to provide. Also their placement does not facilitate soft changes on sounding notes since its pretty much impossible to sound a note while dealing with the rockers. That looks a bit more feasible on the OO model.
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nagant27

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Yes these Excelsior rocker 00 accordions was exactly what I was thinking about. I remembered how we discussed being able to open the sliders partially for a different sound. So it is comparable. The model on this accordion is 1928 model, and was made in 1935. The 00's were after this I believe? the 40's? This was very smart thinking, and a good idea for the time I think. The gauges are kinda cool looking too, and very practical to remember where you want to open it to, so it is reproducible consistently.
 

JIM D.

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These Rocker models (made by Excelsior & Iorio) were the model of choice by many famous accordionists from the mid 30s to the early 50s. Dick Contino used one and also Charley Magnante --
<YOUTUBE id=D1fkwtie1zY list=PLR9Qbn2pDjvw_l4oOtS_RMibHtq4jgsaT url=></YOUTUBE>
 

JIM D.

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These Rocker models were built like a Brick Outhouse and would stand up with heavy use and are easily refurbished.
Ive rebuilt many in the past 30 years and most are still in use.
The last one I refurbished is in use as a Rock Box and used by --
<YOUTUBE id=6usMLxNsRE0 url=></YOUTUBE>
 

nagant27

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That's some hard playing!, good thing those excelsiors are built so solid! Cool to see the accordion being used as an equal, not just for ethnic flavor too.
 
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Geronimo

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nagant27 post_id=54603 time=1516723726 user_id=307 said:
Thats some hard playing!, good thing those excelsiors are built so solid! Cool to see the accordion being used as an equal, not just for ethnic flavor too.
Well, equal to banjo and sousaphone in a garbage container. Not quite going for the symphonic orchestra angle here.

A similar vibe:
<YOUTUBE id=e4Ao-iNPPUc url=>[media]</YOUTUBE>
 

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